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6 May 2015
G'day there! Yes, keithquinnrugby.com has been quiet for a few weeks. That's because I am currently out of New Zealand on a private holiday. Yes a holiday! I hope you have noticed my absence! But now here on this website and in the days and weeks to come I'll bring you photographs of some of the incredible sights my wife Anne and I have seen these last few weeks. We are visiting six countries in Europe and North America. The picture you see here is from a wonderful art work which is now available for Scottish people and overseas tourists to enjoy.
OK, some of my pictures might not be about rugby but just as when your old favourite Uncle and Auntie want to show you their best holiday 'snaps' sit back and enjoy ours!
These giant horsey figures are 'The Kelpies' which are two sculptures paying tribute to the heavy horses which pulled boats and cargo along two main canals in the north of Scotland, near the town of Falkirk. The name derives from the mythical Celtic water horses which could transform their shape and were reputed to have the strength of 10 horses and massive endurance.
The two sculptures are 30 metres tall (that's 295 'hands' if you're a horsey person!) and were put onto the site in just 90 days in April 2014, just before the Commonwealth Games in Scotland were held.
Each sculpture weighs 300 tonnes and each is comprised of more than 13,000 individual pieces of sculptural steel. They are the work of the brilliant Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott.
In their first year of existence a million people visited them and gasped in admiration! I can tell you I did the same.
[see more pictures from my world trip by going back to the Home Page here and clicking on either 'Quinn's News Comment' or 'Favourite Photos']
Stern criticism of the 'elite' International Rugby Board was offered by USA Rugby Chairman Bob Watkins at the Asian Pacific Rugby Congress in Hong Kong, leading to the eventual expansion of the IRB from only eight countries to the over 130 nations today.
The annual matches played between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France were known as the Five Nations championship, or the International rugby championship from 1883 to 2000. When Italy joined in 2000 it was logical that the title for the showpiece to be generally known as The Six Nations Championship.
Ii is not widely known that in fact for over 100 years there was no such official tournament by name. The matches played were merely the annual fixtures between the British, Irish and French countries and it was only the media and fans who awarded a ‘Championship’ at the end of the season. There was no official trophy or title at stake. In 1992 official recognition came for the tournament and a trophy was awarded.
Terry Godwin, who wrote a book in 1984 on the international championship’s first 100 years, could find no definite date when public reference to a ‘championship’ was first made. Godwin believed it was near 1893 or 1894, some 10 years after annual matches had begun involving all four British and Irish teams. In the years that followed, only random mention was made to the ‘championship’ winners or ‘wooden spoon’ winners each year. And even when France was added to the list of annual fixtures for the four ‘home’ teams, it was left off published championship tables until after World War I.
The tournament has encouraged its own terminology. A ‘Grand Slam’ is the winning against all five other teams in the same season. A ‘Triple Crown’ refers to British teams winning against the other three home country teams. France or Italy cannot win a Triple Crown.
Name the NZ player who captained the All Blacks to a test match win; then also captained a team to beat the All Blacks within a year?